Blog Post #3: Choosing a website topic for class
I had several ideas in mind before choosing a topic for my website topic for class. One idea was for a website for a public library giving voters links to sites where they can find out what district they’re in, information on the candidates, how to register to vote, etc. I argued myself down from that one, deciding that I may place a bias on one candidate or party over another that I may place an endorsement that may get my hypothetical library in trouble. I do think this is a good idea for libraries to have voter information, and in the end I decided not to do this because I thought many of the links I would choose would disappear after the election. It would have been a good exercise in trying to remain neutral.
Another idea I had was to work on a list of Readers’ Advisory sources I had created as a pathfinder for an earlier class. I would have divided up the resources among pages that are geared toward romance, science fiction, and mystery. Then I thought about the limiting nature of a site like this. Genre fiction seems to be blurring boundaries more and more and creating separate parts of a page for these types of fiction would inhibit readers of sci-fi to look at mystery or young adult or graphic novels, which they may also enjoy. After half a semester of 753, I couldn’t imagine creating a page for Reader’s Advisory that didn’t have some sort of patron participation like a bulletin board, blog, or wiki. If I didn’t, I would feel that I would be playing library god, bestowing the best books upon you, reader of genre fiction. Adding user content to a Reader’s Advisory site would enable the real experts (avid readers and enthusiasts) to post their comments at a local level, which may inspire the establishment of a community of readers. So often in public libraries, book discussions focus on literary fiction and non-fiction title, and the genre fiction readers are overlooked. This could be an outreach to them. I felt that this may be a little too complicated for my first webpage, and I was unsure about the effectiveness of creating a link to a blog from a separate website.
I decided to make a site tentatively called Video Projects 101 that would provide a checklist for a video project and sources for information on planning, filming, and editing. I thought that the three steps would be a logical way to break up the page, and a checklist would allow me to stress issues like copyright and permissions, and basics like, “Did you make a back up copy?” I hope this will be a useful tool for future use, since students are often given the option to create a video for class projects. I am also interested in the topic, and would like to expand my experience with making videos.
I had several other ideas, but I hope that this one will work and be something that I would use again. The things I found myself considering while deciding on this project were the library’s point of view, my capabilities of web design, the time I have to complete the project, and how deep do I make the content of my site. While brainstorming on the topics, I found myself mentally and physically drawing the site in my head. I have also been looking more critically at websites to flush out what I find easy to use and pleasing to the eye from what I do not like. Isn’t it amazing how your brain works to pick out things like that, even when you are not concentrating on it?